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Partially Burnt Body Of Indian Found In New South Wales

PTI 05 Jan 2010, 12:24:31 IST
PTI

A partially-burnt body found in Australia's New South Wales province last week is believed to be of a 25-year old Indian national, police said on Tuesday, in what might be the second fatality in a slew of vicious attacks on Indians.

The body found on a roadside near Griffith last week is yet to be formally identified but police believe it is that of an Indian man, an ABC report said.

Australian officers are in touch with the man's family in India and the Indian Consulate to help with identification.

Detectives from State Crime Command will today help local officers in a search of the Willbriggie area where the body was found as part of the investigation into his death.

Nitin Garg, a 21-year old Indian was stabbed to death in Melbourne on Saturday night, becoming the first casualty in a series of attacks on members of the community in Melbourne.

A union organiser at Griffith said he has heard of serious assaults in Willbriggie.

Harry Goring from Australian Workers Union said he was aware of unpaid labourers taking matters into their own hands.

Police, however, did not say if they were investigating claims that the man owed money to harvest labourers.

"Over last 12 months there's been two assaults around that area, people endeavouring to retrieve money for labour," Goring said, adding: "I'm not saying for a moment that it's this with this man, but there have been a number of fracas in relation to Indian people pursuing certain individuals".

Goring said action is needed to ensure legal processes are followed by contractors.

"From Centrelink to Immigration, Fair Work, Workcover, we all need to do a sustained effort to fix this problem," he said.

Goring said there has been a huge increase in contract labour, particularly Indian students, and many are being ripped off.

"It's a weekly occurrence. We don't hear about the one and two's that are happening. It only becomes sensational when a large group gets ripped off," he said.

Contending that he gets weekly complaints about wages being stolen, hr aksed farmers to ensure contractors are legitimate.

"You and I will never know the amount of people who are lining up for payment, and as they're doling out the dollars, where they thought they were going to get USD 200, they then have to barter and argue for a percentage of that amount.

"They arrive on our doorstep without any plans, without accommodation and they are scooped up by so-called contractors," he said.

Meanwhile, Australia on Tuesday said it will cooperate with the family of Nitin Garg, the Indian youth killed here, and expedite the process of returning his body back home, terming the delay in the process as "unfortunate".

Acting Foreign Minister Simon Crean said: "We are going to try and cooperate with the family as expeditiously if we can to return the remains, the body, to his home".

While Australian officials have insisted that no race angle was involved in the incident, Crean said: "I think we have to await the full details of the police investigation".

Asked why it took two days, following Garg's murder, for government officials to contact Garg's family in India Crean said: "I think it's unfortunate if it did take that length of time".

He said the government had been in regular contact with Indian officials over the past 12 months on the issue of safety of Indian students in Australia.

Since Garg's death, Australian High Commissioner in Delhi had also been in touch with the family, he said.

"I understand there've been meetings the high commissioner has sought here with the Department of Foreign Affairs officials. We will do whatever we can to try and address this problem," Crean said.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna "reminded" Australia of the economic fallout of such attacks, even as he said that issuing an advisory to Indians in the aftermath of the youth's murder would be the "last resort". PTI